On January 19, Mobile County Public Schools recognized its top three teachers of 2024, naming them as the countywide Teachers of the Year and surprising them in their classrooms.
Jessica Burnette of E.R. Dickson Elementary, the Mobile County Elementary School Teacher of the Year
Christy LeGros of Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies, the Mobile County Middle School Teacher of the Year
Mischa Armstrong of Baker High, the Mobile County High School Teacher of the Year
Each of Mobile County’s 90 schools selects a Teacher of the Year, who is then nominated for the countywide honor. A committee selected these three winners and will forward their applications on to be considered by the state for Alabama’s Teacher of the Year.
“I am beyond proud of our teachers who have been selected by the colleagues as Teacher of the Year,” said Mobile County Public Schools Superintendent Chresal D. Threadgill. “This selection is a true testimony of these individuals’ dedication to ensuring the success of their students. I commend each of them and I cannot wait to personally congratulate them on their accomplishment.”
MCPSS has a great track record in the Alabama Teacher of the Year competition. In 2022, William Edmonds of Barton Academy was named Alabama’s Secondary Teacher of the year. As a teacher at Dawes Intermediate, Chasity Collier was named Alabama’s Teacher of the Year in 2018. As a teacher at Bryant High, David Dai was named Alabama’s top High School Teacher of the Year in 2020. And as a teacher at Hutchens Elementary, Julie Neidhardt was a top four finalist for Alabama’s Teacher of the Year in 2021.
Here is information about each of the Mobile County Teachers of the Year:
Jessica Burnette is a Title 1 facilitator and reading intervention specialist at E.R. Dickson Elementary. An educator for 14 years, she wears many hats at Dickson, serving as a parent and family engagement leader through Title I; taking a leading role in helping to adapt the Alabama Continuous Improvement Plan for the school; serving on Dickson’s Leadership Team; and teaching multiple grade levels. She is certified as a Leadership Educational Administrator and as a Collaborative Special Education Teacher. She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Tennessee State University. Ms. Burnette strives to inspire those around her to use their gifts and strengths to help others, and believes that education is the antidote to ignorance, the weapon against inequality, and the catalyst for social change.
Christy LeGros, a 26-year veteran of the classroom, teaches art at Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies. LeGros found her calling when she took her first art class in high school and became inspired to become an arts teacher to share the excitement and confidence that comes with creativity in the classroom. Last year, she and her students were selected to be a part of the America Celebrates ornament program, in which they created ornaments to be displayed on the Alabama tree near the National Christmas Tree at the White House. Ms. LeGros also taught at Theodore High School for many years and has served on MCPSS’s Fine Arts Advisory Board. She has been named the Alabama Secondary Art Educator of the Year and the Theodore High School Teacher of the Year. Her numerous community honors include two Arty Awards for Arts Education from the Mobile Arts Council and the Nappie Award for Best Local Artist. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in arts education from the University of South Alabama. Ms. LeGros is passionate about the important role that teachers and counselors must play to help each student find their individual path to success.
Mischa Armstrong teaches algebra and precalculus at Baker High School. During the past year, she has served as an A+ College Ready Individual Training and Incentive Program (ITIP) teacher, a program that plays a pivotal role in fostering success in Advanced Placement coursework for teachers and students at Baker. She has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in secondary mathematics education from the University of South Alabama and will complete her Teacher Leader Educational Specialist certification from the University of West Alabama in June. Ms. Armstrong, now in her 16th year of teaching, wants to emphasize the importance of fostering diverse and inclusive classrooms where every student feels valued and represented. She also wants to promote programs and practices that ensure that each student has an equal opportunity to thrive academically, emotionally, and socially.